Manifesting the “General Strike”

Image: Picketers behind explosion overlay; red background. Text: Manifesting the General Strike

If you’ve spent any time in left organizing spaces over the past ten or twenty years, especially online, you’ve probably heard people say “we’re having a general strike! Everyone out!” And then predictably, nothing happens. It’s almost an inside-joke among left organizers that if you say “general strike,” they’re the magical words that will make everyone go out of work.


Cover image for Rochester Red Star, May 2024 Issue. Logo: Rochester Red Star (Black text with Red Star). ROC DSA logo, with "Democratic Socialists of America Rochester NY." Artwork: stamped flowers; Red rose and yellow sunflower. With textured leaves on either side. Purple flowers at bottom with moss. Flower borders on left and right, green ribbon border top and bottom.

Welcome to the inaugural issue of ROC DSA’s monthly newsletter, Rochester Red Star. I hope this project will help to accomplish goals I announced while running for Steering Committee: Expanding our capacity for political education to develop class consciousness; improving our organizing capabilities and community structures to establish foundations for the future; and building transparency and communication between Steering Committee and membership.

May this be one step along the path to carving out a left media sphere that will form the intellectual basis for a vibrant socialist politics in our region. I encourage you to get involved by submitting articles, photos, event write-ups, and feedback. Together, a better world is possible.

University of Rochester Students Call for Reversal of Ban on Students Peacefully Protesting on Campus

Five days into our encampment, our reasonable demands to the University of Rochester Administration remain. We continue to call on UR Administration to: (1) join the City of Rochester and Universities across the country in Calling for a ceasefire, and (2) fully divest from all academic ties to the state of Israel. Until the demands are met, or we are forcibly removed, we will remain peacefully on the Eastman Quad, drawing attention to the University of Rochester’s support of apartheid and genocide. Additionally we are now calling upon the University to lift these unreasonable bans and allow us to continue our peaceful protest. 

Solidarity Is Our Greatest Weapon: On Recent ROC DSA Victories

Image: Raised fists. Text: Solidarity is our greatest weapon: On Recent ROC DSA victories

Something powerful happened in the city council chambers when our members and supporters approached that microphone, and that’s that we united our struggles. When we spoke about the BID, we also demanded City Council sign the ceasefire resolution. When we spoke about the ceasefire resolution, we demanded City Council stop the BID. And when we talked about either, we demanded City Council launch a vacancy study that’s necessary to implement rent control. It is solidarity that won those two victories. It is solidarity that shows the working class that our struggles are united. It is solidarity that is our greatest weapon against the owner class. Solidarity Forever!

Engineering Genocide: The War Profiteering of L3Harris

Image: Gears; Rochester flower with Palestine flag; Blood drops. Title: Engineering Genocide: The War Profiteering of L3Harris

Now, can you picture 10,000 tons of weapons on 244 cargo planes and 20 ships? 15,000 bombs; 57,000 shells; and 200 kamikaze drones. This is what was received by Israel from the US (that we know of) in just the last few months of 2023. Annually Israel receives almost $4 billion dollars in military aid from the US and now $14 billion more in aid is potentially on the way. All these funds must be spent on US made weapons; weapons like those made here at L3 Harris.

Withholding the Vote: The Congressional Union and the Democratic Party Boycott

Title: Withholding the Vote: The Congressional Union and the Democratic Party Boycott. Image: A group of organizers from the Congressional Union before departing from Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Alice Paul outlined the election policy: First, the enemy must be identified. All present could agree, she believed, that the enemy was the Democratic Party. Holding the presidency and both houses of Congress, they were to blame for blocking the suffrage amendment. Second, the method of attack: the Democratic Party would be attacked with the weapon of nearly four million votes belonging to women in the nine enfranchised states, to whom an appeal would be made “to withdraw their support from the Democrats” in the coming election.